‘I Selected a Friday Evening in June to Celebrate With a Barbecue’


Dear Diary:

When the 10th anniversary of my move to New York City came around, I selected a Friday evening in June to celebrate with a barbecue at my Gowanus apartment.

String lights swayed in the breeze. The coals glowed white hot in the grill. The Popsicles were organized in the freezer.

One thing was missing: a cooler for drinks.

I walked to the nearby grocery store to pick up one of those inexpensive foam coolers that seem to be ubiquitous in the summer.

But after a fruitless lap around the aisles and a series of head shakes from store workers, I felt defeated and turned toward the door.

“Amigo!” a voice from the storeroom in back yelled.

I walked over to find a young man grinning and gesturing toward some empty cardboard boxes. He quickly fortified one with layers of discarded Styrofoam and added a big black trash bag as a liner.

Together, we emptied some beer and two bags of ice into our new makeshift cooler, and I carried it proudly back to the party.

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